There’s a major misconception about the life of a business traveller. While most believe there’s nothing better than frequently living out of a suitcase, jet setting to exotic locations, and schmoozing with the big wigs over fancy dinners, the reality speaks a different truth. The drab airport lounges, long haul flights, never-ending jetlag, constant streams of work, coupled with fleeting moments with your family while you attempt to recover from your trip before you head out the door for the next one – that’s the reality. Feeling like you’re in a continuous juggling act with your work, travel, and home life can turn you into a massive ball of stress, so how do
you take a step back and manage it all?
Schedule in Personal Days on Your Trip
The expectations of my very first business trip are still clear in my mind. I was young, full of vigor. I was ecstatic when I was told, and why not? My mind was racing of all the brilliant activities I could do to fill my time; whether it be hanging out at ultra trendy ice bar. I packed my new camera to capture all my amazing experiences I was about to have, but guess what? I spent the whole time listening within the confines of a boardroom, and my camera never saw the light of day. Now that I’m a bit older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve realized the importance of tacking on extra days on my trip, and if I can, I’ll bring my family along for a much needed family vay-cay.
Unplug from the Work World
Working professionals, how many times has this happened to you? You sit down at the dinner table with your family when the phone starts to ring. It’s your boss. He can’t find a document and he’s decided to pester you during dinner time to help him find it. You answer it the first time because you assume it might just be a one-time thing. Problem is, your boss continues to call virtually every night with a different load of questions or crises that need to be dealt with immediately. This kind of stress can really put a strain on your home and family life, so it’s super important that you learn how to switch off. Unless you’re job requires being on call 24/7, then don’t be. Create boundaries, and be firm with them, even if that means turning off your phone and locking it in a draw. The same can be said for technology and the constant need to check emails, Facebook, Twitter and so forth. Start with unplugging yourself from the virtual world for at least one hour per night. You might feel anxious at first, however this will fade and you’ll cherish the moments you live in the simple life.
Don’t Keep Separate Lists and Calendars for Work and Home
Raise a virtual hand if you keep a separate calendar for work and personal life? Do you often double book, resulting in you having to cancel plans? Maintain a positive work-life balance by keeping everything in the one place. Keeping one calendar for every will mean you can make day-to-day decisions based on a complete picture of your commitments. For example, if you receive a meeting request, you can ask yourself, is it urgent? What else do I have planned? If there is a conflict, can I suggest an alternative time, or do I have to miss out on a lunch date with my husband? Sometimes the answer might be that you have to cancel on existing plans. Other times, the alternative will suit everyone.